Marriage between first cousins illegal as per Hindu Marriage Act: Punjab and Haryana High Court

Amitha Muraleedharan

The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has stated that marriage between first cousins is illegal.

The assertion came while hearing the anticipatory bail plea by youth against the state of Punjab.

The anticipatory bail was filed by a 21-year-old youth in a case registered under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 366A (Procuration of minor girl) of the Indian Penal Code.

The counsel for the petitioner told that his client had also filed a criminal writ petition, for the protection of life and liberty of the duo. 

As per their memorandum, the petitioner submitted that they are in a live-in relationship.

Opposing the petition, the counsel for the state argued that they were first cousins and their fathers were real brothers and also included that the girl is a minor.

Along with the petition, the girl stated that she was ignored by her parents and so she decided to leave with her petitioner-friend.

She also added that there is a chance that her parents could harass them and disturb their peace of mind. 

This petition was dismissed by the court on September 7.

The court had granted the girl and the man protection from any kind of perceived threat. 

However, added that “that this order shall not be taken to protect the petitioners (man and the girl) from legal action for violation of law, if any, committed by them”.

The state also argued that the petition fell under the prohibited ‘sapinda’ under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA). 

The HMA prohibits marriage between two individuals if they have a common ancestry.

The case was adjourned to January next year.